Tag Archives: Birthdays

You and Me

It’s my baby girl’s birthday tomorrow and I’ve got all things Rachael on my mind.  I’ve spent the last several days reminiscing over the past 22 years and my mind is filled with so many precious memories of my daughter and I together.

Yesterday after a bit of searching through old boxes of mementos, I found the journal I kept while I was pregnant that also went through her first year.  I spent some time reading over it and I laughed and I cried, my heart was overwhelmed with love, and with joy, and with gratitude.  I’m so glad I kept a journal of it all.

It’s hard to describe the profound love I have for her, sometimes words just aren’t enough.  Fewer things are more precious to me in this world than my daughter, and it is in being her Mom that my life has found the most meaning so far.

One of the memories that is foremost on my mind today (the one that prompted this post’s title) is of the two of us dancing together at a family wedding several years ago to the song “You and Me” by Lifehouse.  I loved that song at the time and when it began playing I asked my (now ex) husband to dance to it with me, but he refused (there is a long and hurtful story behind the reason for that that I won’t go into right now), so I turned to my daughter and asked her.  Something you should know is that my daughter was (is) extremely shy so it was a pretty big deal for her to get out there and dance with me.  But in knowing how much I loved the song (and I think in also seeing and wanting to alleviate my hurt at being rejected by her dad) , she put away her insecurities and danced with me.  We twirled around happily together on the the dance floor, albeit awkwardly, and had a wonderful time. We hadn’t danced like that together since she was a little girl.  It really meant a lot to me.

On a Mother’s Day sometime afterward, she put together a cover of herself singing that song and gave it to me as a gift.  She later posted it on her YouTube channel and this is it…

It’s not one of her best vocals, but I can’t even tell you how precious the sweet sound of my baby girl’s singing is to me.


Thanks so much for letting me share this treasured memory with you.  Since beginning my blog back in November of 2011, I’ve not only mentioned her numerous times in various posts along the way, but have also written specific posts about my daughter.  In the spirit of her birthday I’d like to mention those again… When she turned 20, I wrote a post about her called Beautiful Things Come in Twenties where I shared a ton of photos along with twenty of the things I love about her, and then another one Minnesota’s Got Talent where I shared (bragged) about her creativity and artistic talent.

Well, there’s lots to do to get ready for the special day tomorrow, and I’m off to bake her birthday cake.  She wants a tie dye one (truly a girl after my own heart), but I’ve never made a tie dye cake before, so hopefully it doesn’t end up a complete fail. Wish me luck!

You and Me

Peace & Love…

Happy New Year!

It may not be January 1st on the calender, but it’s a new year for me ~  I had a birthday this past week!  😀

Each year when my birthday rolls around I tend to focus more inward and take a personal inventory of myself and my life, much like people do around New Year’s.  It’s usually a good and healthy thing for me, contemplating my purpose, setting goals etc., but this year I tried to stay clear of doing that because I’ve been struggling a bit as it is to keep my spirits up lately and I felt that it would be counter productive for me at the moment.  So instead, I chose to not think too hard about anything, to not make any judgements or major decisions about my life, and to just be in the moment and be thankful for another new year to live and breathe.

I didn’t make any big plans for doing much celebrating either, but the day ended up being quite festive for me, and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d share a little bit about it…

The day started out pretty much “business as usual” for me, and when I woke up I headed out to the patio for my coffee and quiet time.

My mom came out and snapped a picture of me sitting out there.


It wasn’t exactly “business as usual” though because there usually isn’t a Happy Birthday banner hanging there on the fence.   😉


I was still nursing my first cup of coffee when my daughter woke up and came out to join me.  It was really cute because she was so excited and anxious for me to open the birthday gift she got for me…


This adorable little bunny is filled with LAVENDER!  Ahhh… my favorite scent in all the world!  ♥   My daughter knows me so well!   I not only had this bunny on my lap for this picture, but I also have it on my lap right now as I type this, so you gotta know that I’m in total bliss right now!  Worries?  What worries?  Anxiety?  Psh, what’s that?  All is well and right in the universe when I’m breathing in the heavenly scent of lavenderrrrr…


And my lavender bunny went everywhere with me on my birthday…

One of those places was the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, a wonderful place where I used to bring my daughter when she was little.  I’ve been wanting to go back there for some time now, so I thought why not go there on my birthday?  Heck, spending time being out in nature on my birthday totally works for me!

I loved this sign they have over the entrance…


There are several trails that wind in and around within, and everywhere you look, life is happening.  It’s beautiful!


Here are just a few of the flowers that are in bloom there at the moment…









There are different plants doing different things here depending on what time of the year it is, and one thing I kept noticing was that a lot of the plants had these big pods developing on them.  Well, when I went in for a closer look I saw this little guy!  Just chillin’ hanging out in the shade, on a pod.


Omygosh so cute!  I named him Pod.   ♥


We had seen another frog earlier on our walk taking a nap under the shade of a leaf, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of him because my daughter was insisting I hurry up so she could try and catch it.   She was so excited, just like a little kid again.  I love that about her ~ the wonder of nature and the delight in the little creatures is not lost on her.  Hmm… I don’t know where she gets that from…  😉

Well, that first little frog had escaped her grasp and she was so disappointed (hey, that’s what she gets for rushing me when I’m trying to take a picture), but she was able to catch and hold Pod for a brief moment and I snapped this photo of him cupped in her hands…


Pod peed on her haha!


Aside from pods (be they frogs or plants) and all of the lovely wildflowers blooming everywhere, there are also beautiful forested areas there…



As well as various berry producing plants for the birds.  It is a bird sanctuary after all.


I saw and heard lots of birds, but I didn’t catch any photos of them.  But that was alright, I was happy just being there.


Oh, and I loved how this tree was standing alone in a clearing on one of the hills…



And I love this girl who was there to enjoy it all with me…




When we left there we went to my favorite coffee shop where I got a free drink for my birthday, and we almost had a car accident on the way.  Crazy, careless drivers!  I love people… until they get behind the wheel of a car, then they become maniacs!  Seriously, they are so rude, always distracted and in a hurry.  I am amazed and thankful everyday when I arrive at my various destinations safely after driving anywhere.  Gosh, I can’t even imagine how it would have affected my day to have had it include getting into a wreck, and I am thankful I didn’t get to find out…

When we got back home, the mail had come and I was delighted to have received a special gift in the mail from a dear friend of mine who lives in another state…


It’s a little canister that contains a terrarium and seeds for growing a tree!  What a wonderful gift for the nature lover and closet tree hugger that I am ~ she too knows me so well!   Thank you again Mindi, I love you, my precious soul sister!  ♥


Also in the mail was a random check from a profit sharing account from a utility company that I haven’t done business with for 3 years.  It wasn’t for a big amount, but hey, unexpected money is always fun!  And it paid for a good portion of the bill for my birthday lunch!

Oh!  And speaking of unexpected money…  a few days before my birthday I found a $100 bill tucked away in a box!  I had went looking for something else and BAM there’s a hundred bucks!  Whee so exciting!  That’s not exactly something that happens everyday!  I can’t even tell you how absolutely tickled I was to find it!  I used it to have my hair done.  That might seem like a frivolous thing, but I already had an appointment scheduled to get my hair done and so it was a huge blessing not to have to pay for it!

My daughter took this random photo of me at some point during my birthday festivities.  I didn’t even know she was taking it and I’m not sure what she was going for here, but hey, it’s kinda a nice shot of my hair…  😉

DSCN8470 (2)aI had some lighter colored foils added in this time as well as more purple, and I really love it!


As I mentioned, we went out for a birthday lunch, and we went to Olive Garden, my favorite restaurant.  I had their new Asiago Garlic Alfredo with Cavatappi pasta, it was soooooo delicious and I savored every bite!  I enjoyed it so much in fact, that believe I was even mmm-ing out loud and closing my eyes while I was eating it.  Hey, sometimes having pasta is a sensual experience for me, what can I say?  Haha!

When we got back home we had a henna party out on the patio.  I have been wanting to experiment and play with a henna kit I bought for myself a while back.  Every year when I go to the Renaissance Festival (which is coming up soon!) I always get a henna tattoo at one of their booths, and one year after going to Renfest I bought myself a little henna kit online and thought I’d see if I could do it on myself.

Well, we didn’t end up using my kit after all.  Instead we called a gal that we had seen doing henna at the local farmer’s market a few weeks ago and asked if she could come over and do henna on us.  It was loads of fun!  Even my 76 year old mom went along with it and got one!

Just look at how festive…


Each one was so unique and pretty, but I like mine the best…  😀


I got one on my ankle too, but I don’t have a picture of it.  And you know, this just made me think all the more about taking out my little henna kit and trying my hand at it.  Then I can have one any time I want.  🙂


If you’re ever in the Twin Cities Metro area, give Michelle at Let’s Henna a call.  Here’s the link to her Facebook page…  Let’s Henna.  Thank you again Michelle, it was so fun to have you here!  Happy henna-ing!  😀

And I also want to say thanks again to my best friend and big sister for paying for our little henna party for my birthday.  I love you so much Forest, you really are the best, and I am so very blessed to have you in my life!  ♥

And speaking of my sis…  she also gave me a lovely set of sheets for my birthday.  She knows how much I love my bed and is always giving me cozy things for it.


I actually picked these out myself one day while we were out shopping together and they are so unbelievably soft, I can’t wait to put them on my bed!  Geez, I’m just noticing that I sort of look like I’m advertising these sheets here the way I’m holding them.  What a dork.  Well, they are really nice sheets.   😉


My sis also brought over a ton of festive balloons, and then she and my daughter decorated the patio for my birthday.  It was very fitting that we had my little birthday celebration out there as it is right next to my garden, and you all know that is my “happy place.”


She also made things extra festive with the bottle of red wine she gave me…

100_3979 (2)_pp

And she is taking to me the Renaissance Festival!  Yes, she spoils me a bit, but that’s what big sisters do.  Well, mine does!   😉


But before I give her too much praise, I have to give her a bit of a hard time too, she fails at some things sometimes, like… taking photos.  She snapped this picture of me showing the lovely Apatite gem earrings my mom gave me, but she cut off my nose…


And the photo is all bright and over exposed and blurry so you can’t even see the earrings.  (They are a gorgeous blue-green color, by the way!)


She also took a blurry picture of me while they were singing happy birthday.  And she hadn’t even had any of the wine.  😉


Maybe like people get sympathy pains, she was having a sympathy drunk?  Haha!  In all honesty, the wine actually came after the cake and the gifts, and my sis doesn’t even drink, but it’s fun to tease her!  😉


All joking aside… I genuinely appreciate her, and my mom and my daughter for all they did in helping make my birthday special.   I am so fortunate and thankful to have them in my life and I love them all so very much!  ♥

The evening weather was unseasonably cool for an August summer night, so I ended my day with a lovely, festive little fire on the patio.  It was very cozy and relaxing, and there weren’t any mosquitoes!

My daughter snapped this picture of the mesmerizing flames…



Oh and I don’t want to forget to show this one… my kitty was crying out the window for me most of the day….


Poor sweet thing.  She loves me.  And gosh do I ever love her!   ♥   My daughter tried to bring her outside with us at one point, but she was too fidgety and frightened out there.  The little party pooper…


Well, I guess that’s about it for now.  Thanks for taking the time to read this and for letting me share a bit about my birthday with you.

In all, I think I’ve started my new year out very nicely, hopefully that’s an indication of a wonderful, Happy New Year ahead for me.  And even though it may not be your birthday or actual New Year’s on the calender… each day is a new beginning and another chance to start afresh, so Happy New Day to you!

Be well, be happy, and be blessed my friends…

Tis the Season… to Cherish Family

I know it seems somewhat cliche’ to start talking about the importance of family when the holidays start rolling around, but that’s exactly what is on my mind.

Not only are Thanksgiving, Christmas and then New Years going on during this time of year, but my mom, my sis, and my dad also have their birthdays around this time too, so there has always been even more family togetherness going on during the holidays for me.

It will greatly embarrass my mom for me to blow the whistle on our ‘perfect family’ cover by leaking out this top secret information… but I must admit my little family is a bit damaged and broken at best.  I suppose this just very well may be the case for most families these days considering society, the world at large, and human nature being what they are.  But we always try to cover it up to appear ‘normal’ (whatever that is).  Maybe I should be a more private person and not air all of my dirty laundry out in public for all the world to see, but I’ve never been one for trying to portray an ‘image.’  What is the use in that?  In order to connect on any real level with others out there in the world, you need to be real.  I do however, need to be respectful of my family’s privacy and be careful not to share all of their dirty little secrets while I’m sharing my own.  😉

Not that we really have any of those, it’s not like we have a mass murderer in the family that we are trying to hide (of course I’d say this even if we did though wouldn’t I? ;)).  But even despite our bit of dysfunction, there is tons and tons of love here and I wouldn’t want any other people as my family other than this crazy lot I’ve been thrown in with.

But all joking aside, I suppose that apart from all the birthdays and the holidays going on, the reason family is so much on my mind is because I am realizing more and more every day just how very fragile and precious life is, and our dear families and loved ones are at the very heart of it all.  My aunt passed away a few days ago (on my mom’s birthday) and although I wasn’t particularly close with her, she was my family and I loved her, my heart is breaking for my cousins and my uncle right now.  In having my dad pass away just a year ago this past June, that sense of loss is still very much a fresh wound for me too.  It would have been his 84th birthday next week.  Gosh I miss him.  We really do need to cherish the time we have with our precious families because they could be taken away from us in an instant.

My mom can really get under my skin like no other, and can frustrate the ever lovin’ crap outta me.  But that being said, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love her, how truly grateful I am to have her as my mom (mistakes in raising me and all), how very much I appreciate everything she is and has done for me, and… how utterly lost I would be without her.

Try and cherish your family no matter what your family situation is.  I’m sure there are likely many families out there who are in very difficult circumstances. Sadly, my own brother is estranged from our family at the moment, but in the meantime I will still love him from afar, pray for him, and hope that one day things will be better.  And I will cherish the other precious ones in my family that I still do have…

Here’s my “bunch of crazies”  😉

and my crazy offspring, the most precious thing in this world to me…


Happy Birthday Mom!

In honor of my Mom’s birthday today, I thought I would reblog this post that I wrote about her for Mother’s Day. Love you mom! ♥

Ramblings From Jewels

“My mom can beat up your mom” ~ a common phrase I remember from my childhood.  I’m not sure that I ever actually used it myself, but for some reason it came to mind today.  Maybe because I think my mom is the best!  ♥


When my mom turned 70, I gathered together an ENORMOUS collection of photographs from her life and scanned them all into a computer file to preserve them.

As her birthday gift, I put them all into chronological order (as best as I could) and used them to make a DVD slideshow documenting her life through the years.  I also used some very cool scrapbooking software to make a scrapbook and then printed it all up and put it into a handcrafted photo album for her.  It was a modern technology meets an old fashioned look at it’s finest.  And it was a LOT of…

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